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Lifting the Syria arms embargo will cause more death and destruction- Crowe

28 May, 2013 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on foreign affairs, trade and diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, has said that EU Foreign Ministers’ decision not to renew the EU’s arms embargo on Syria will cause more death and destruction there.
EU foreign ministers met yesterday to discuss current sanctions on Syria and failed to reach agreement on continuing the arms embargo. This means EU countries are legally free to ship arms to Syria from 1June.
Deputy Crowe said:
“The foreign ministers of EU member states have failed to agree to extend the arms embargo for another year. This is a very worrying development which will lead to more death and destruction.
“The civil war in Syria has already claimed over 80,000 lives and created 1.5m Syrian refugees, sending more weapons will increase the bloodshed and deepen the conflict.
“This move also has the potential to further destabilise other countries in the region, which are already struggling to host huge amounts of refugees, especially Lebanon.
“The rebels in Syria are not one unified group, with an organised command structure or shared goals. They are made up of a variety of groups and have been accused of large scale human rights abuses, as have the government.
“EU member states which send weapons to Syria will not be able to adequately track them and they can fall into the hands of radical Islamist groups, as happened in Libya.
“The best way to stop the conflict is through peace talks and a peace process. The USA and Russia have recently shown interest in creating a forum for the Government and rebels to try start peace talks.
“This is welcome and the initiative needs to be given more time. Exporting weapons to Syria will only continue to fuel this civil war and claim more lives.” ends

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